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Introduction to University Social Responsibility

514 people completed this program


The course describes the theoretical underpinnings of USR. It showcases some effective practices and activities carried out in institutions around the world. The course also promotes understanding of the USR concept, its implications, impacts, evaluation, possible implementation methods, and replicability. In doing so, it contributes to the expansion and consolidation of the USR movement. It provides a knowledge base for designing, planning, implementing, and evaluating programs from the fundamentals of USR and some existing good practices.

No prior knowledge is required to join the course. This course is for you especially if you are an administrator, a professor, or a professional staff member interested in learning new creative ways from the experts' at the universities to address the needs of society including SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). If you are a government official or a foundation representative seeking ways to strengthen higher education, this course will help you explore future opportunities and directions.

  • The fundamentals of University Social Responsibility or USR
  • How USR becomes real in practice through program design, planning, implementation, and evaluation of USR policies and activities
  • How to make academic work socially meaningful, engaging, and impactful


Week 0: This week we get to know each other before the course starts. You can use the discussion forum to get to know other learners and share your ideas and interests with them. At this time you will be also asked to take an entrance survey about your level of familiarity with the topic, your prior exposure to the content, etc. to help us improve the quality of the course in the future.

Week 1: Introduction to USR Network and the concept of USR

We will see what University Social Responsibility is in theory and we will get familiar with the University Social Responsibility Network.

Week 2: USR at work: cases and mini cases (1)

We will explore a diverse set of good USR practices among member universities of the University Social Responsibility Network.

Week 3: USR at work: cases and mini cases (2)

We will continue to learn about different practices from other member universities of the University Social Responsibility Network.

Week 4: Closing and Wrapping up

We will review one more inspiring case, and then discuss tips and strategies for planning, designing, implementing and evaluating USR activities.

Special Session. Universities Response on Covid-19

Although not an educational module of the MOOC itself, in this Special Session we will share some of the work member universities in the USR Network have done to address the challenges and needs brought about by the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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Introduction to University Social Responsibility
6 weeks
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